Summary: We tend to treat our sin lightly calling it shortcomings, errs, mistakes. In Mark 9, Jesus gives a series of warnings to His disciples: in verses 43-48, He warns of the seriousness of sin and its dire consequences.

The Seriousness of Sin

Mark 9: 43-48

Evangelist Billy Sunday used to say, “One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake.” We tend to treat our sin lightly calling it shortcomings, errs, mistakes. We catalogue them into big sins (e.g. murder) and little sins (e.g. lies). - In Mark 9, Jesus gives a series of warnings to His disciples: in verses 43-48, He warns of the seriousness of sin and its dire consequences.

I. Sin is not a trivial Matter.

A. In Mark 9:43-47 Jesus used a hyperbole, an intentional exaggeration to make a point. His point is the absolute, complete seriousness of sin. (copied)

B. The body parts represent any sin that can be committed with them. The “hand” represents whatever we may do that offends God. The “foot” represents wherever we may go that may offend God. The “eye” represents the things we see, desire and hold dear that are not the things of God.

C. It’s better to go through life maimed than to face the fiery eternal judgment that is meted out for sin.

D. Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman tells of a distinguished Methodist minister of Australia who preached on sin. One of his church officers afterward came to see and talk with him in his study. He said to the minister: "Dr. Howard, we don't want you to talk so plainly as you do about sin, because if our boys and girls hear you talking so much about sin they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin." The minister took down a small bottle and showed it to the visitor. It was a bottle of strychnine and was marked, "Poison." He said: "I see what you want me to do. You want me to change the label. Suppose I take off this label of 'Poison' and put on some mild label, such as 'Essence of Peppermint,' don't you see what happens? The milder you make the label the more dangerous you make the poison."—W. S. Bowden

E. Sin is a serious matter.

II. Sin’s Definition

A. Sin is a Crime against God

1. Crime - An act or omission that violates the law and is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment or internment

2. Sin is the violation of the law of God

3. 1 John 3:4 (WEY) “Everyone who is guilty of sin is also guilty of violating Law; for sin is the violation of Law.”

4. Romans 3:20 (ESV) “...through the law comes knowledge of sin.”

5. The law exposes our sin.

6. Greg Nichols, “God’s law is the great spotlight which shines upon our sin and shows us what our sin is.”

7. All sin is sin against God and therefore infinitely serious.

B. Sin is an Unpaid Debt

1. Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

2. We owe God obedience!

3. Genesis 2:15-17 “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

4. Romans 5:19 “….by one man's disobedience many were made sinners”

5. “God made man that he might live to his glory, and gave him a law to walk by; and if, when he does anything that tends not to glorify God, he contracts a debt with Divine Justice, how much more is he debtor when he breaks the law by actual transgression!” – Clarke

6. Psalm 29:2 “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

7. Sin is the debt created by withholding from God what is justly due Him – obedience, honor, love, and glory.

8. “The most insignificant sin that has ever been committed would ruin the entire cosmos, for it would mar the perfection that God created to reflect His glory. We steal God’s glory by every sin. We do not grasp the weight of our sin. Until we can bring home the ugliness of sin, Satan has another weapon in his locker.” (Duncan)

9. Sin is a debt we cannot pay. Sin is a debt we cannot diminish. Sin is a debt that will be exacted.

C. Sin is Defiance and Hostility –

1. Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

2. Enmity speaks of our relationship to God. Sin is hostility toward God and conducts itself in defiance of God.

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Greg Smith

commented on Jan 12, 2016

The story about the "Last Supper" seems to be false. I wish it was true! It would be a great illustration!

Jerry Flury

commented on Feb 21, 2016

Upon further research, I concur that t is false he story and apologize. I have edited the sermon removing the illustration. Thank you.

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